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Present Tense
A Mennonite Spirituality

Summary: Ever wonder what Mennonite spirituality is or if there is such a thing? Gordon Houser explores the heart of Mennonite spirituality and how Mennonite spiritual practices may succeed or fall short. Present Tense is not a grammar book but a personal and incisive look at what lies at the heart of Mennonite (and Christian) living. Learn how practice makes perfect, how patience brings peace, how prayer and politics are present in play. (And that sentence refers to all eight chapters.)

In his Foreword, Richard Rohr insightfully places Present Tense in the context of his view of Mennonites then concludes, "That’s the way I see it, anyway. But read this inspiring book, and you will know how Gordon Houser sees it—which is much better."

"Houser’s gentle, forthright, and theologically astute voice has nothing to prove. His many years as an ‘insider’—a church journalist—and ‘outsider’—one who did not grow up Mennonite—render these reflections on Mennonite spirituality into a unique alloy of intimacy and objectivity. Read this book if you are Mennonite, if you’d like to be one, or if you are just curious about what makes Mennonites tick."  —Valerie Weaver-Zercher, Contributing Editor to Sojourners

"Wise, gentle and grace-filled reflections on spirituality from a Mennonite perspective. I recommend it highly!" —John D. Roth, Professor of History, Goshen College

"A journalist who goes exploring spirituality is not uncommon, but one who examines spiritual practices and then lets those practices examine the writer’s soul—uncommon! A spiritual observer whose moves from observing as examination to observing as participation. Gordon Houser has looked at the practices valued highly in his Mennonite community—patient following, peaceful reconciling, political integrity, playful relating, prayerful thinking, perfect imperfection and celebrating the present—and allowed them to be a mirror of his own life in the Spirit and as a member of ‘the community of the Spirit.’ He did not write of the Anabaptist virtue of humility, he demonstrated it. The book is a great read, except for when it starts reading you back and nudging to practice things left unpracticed." —David Augsburger, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Gordon Houser has a way with words—a way that is warm and winsome, witty and wise." —Arthur Boers, Associate Professor, R.J. Bernardo Family Chair of Leadership, Tyndale Seminary

Market: Discussion groups, students, church libraries, pastors, congregational leaders; anyone interested in spirituality and particularly Mennonite spirituality.

Shelving: Spirituality—Mennonite; Personal experience—inspirational, devotional. Theology—Anabaptist, Mennonite; BISAC: Religion

The Author: Gordon Houser is a long-time Mennonite journalist and church member who came to the Mennonite faith as a young adult. He is the author of Relatively Speaking: Strengthening Families Ties and and contributed to Wrestling with God: Devotions for Men. He  serves as associate editor of The Mennonite.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House LLC
Potential Copublisher: None
Publication date: September 2011
Tentative Pages: 174
Format: 5.5 x 8.5" trade paper
Prices: $16.95 US/Can. ISBN 13:  978-1-931038-90-4; ISBN 10: 1-931038-90-2

 

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